Florida to conduct a last-minute session to streamline gambling legislation

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As gambling legislation formulation in Florida is not making any great progress towards any agreement, the state’s legislators are planning to hold a two-day session in a last-ditch effort to reach consensus on the issue. The sessions will be held towards this month-end. It could lead to a consensus in formulating a comprehensive gambling legislation finally.

For starters, the lawmakers discussed the matters for 60 days starting from January 9. The two chambers of the state Legislature each tabled a gambling-oriented bill, but there are key differences in recommendations of both the version of the bill. The news about the new move for a two-day sessions comes in the wake of concerns that the state could lose gaming revenue if a legislation is not enacted quickly. House Speaker Richard Corcoran raised a concern that the state budget could lose hundreds of millions of revenue to state as the fee from Seminole Tribe, a gaming company which currently pays hundreds of millions to the state in exchange for exclusivity over blackjack.

A special session could be the Florida Legislature’s last chance to introduce changes to gambling laws without having to ask residents for their opinion on the matter. Florida residents will cast their vote at the November ballot on a constitutional amendment that, if approved, will limit significantly legislators’ power over gambling-related issues. Under the proposed amendment (Amendment 3) any reforms to the state’s existing gambling law should first be approved by a voters’ majority.